By Beng Emmanuel
Sports Writer, Kick442.com- Cameroon
Serbian football manger, Milutin Sredojevic fondly called Micho has told this Pan African Sports News Agency that he is convinced Cameroon will successfully stage the 2021 African Nations Championship (CHAN) and 2022 AFCON, citing hospitality and sports culture a major asset for the five times Africa champions.
The former Zamalek SC gaffer signed a two year deal with the Chipolopolo of Zambia in February 2020. He said next year’s CHAN tournament will serve as rehearsals for the 2022 Nations and has no doubt Cameroon will live up to expectations.
Both competitions were postponed by a year by CAF after an Executive Committee meeting on June 30.
Consequently, the 2021 AFCON was moved to 2022 while the CHAN 2020 will take place next year. The biennial competitions had been planned for March this 2020 but was put off due to Covid-19.
“I think the change with regards to the tournaments, AFCON coming in 2022 and CHAN in 2021, the CHAN 2021 will serve as a bridge towards a big AFCON. The best local talents in Africa of 16 teams will lead to the big tournament of 24 teams in 2022”
“And under such circumstances, you can just say for yourself that everything has been brought with CHAN 2021 being a rehearsal, being the warm-up for the AFCON with 24 teams,” told kick442.com.
Sredojevic added:” in that regard, am expecting that we shall be able to abide by all the best possible preparation. I expect a very good competition knowing that Cameroon is a country with very good hospitality, with strong football roots and great sports culture”.
Cameroon hosted the AFCON in 1972 for the very first time. She also played host to the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in 2016 and is getting set to host other major continental competitions.
The Central African nation has over 11 stadia set aside for games, excluding the 50,000 Japoma Sports Complex in Douala and ongoing 60000 Olembe stadia.
Also, Cameroon’s Minister of Sport and Physical Education, Narcisse Mouelle Kombi has been visiting construction sites to ensure facilities to host both continental football competitions are properly executed. In a nutshell, Cameroon is bracing up to organise a memorable CHAN and AFCON like the Zambian head coach anticipates.
Milutin Sredojevic is poised to lead Zambia back to the Nations Cup scene they have been out of since after 2012 triumph. He has an admirable portfolio with African football, having been in charge of Rwanda and Uganda.
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In 2016, the former footballer was nominated for the prestigious CAF coach of the year award. He grabbed similar awards in Sudan and Uganda where he was successful.
He has won at least a silverware as a manager in some of the clubs he commanded notably the Egyptian Cup title, Uganda Premier League (2002, 2003, 2004), the Ethiopia Premier League, and Sudan Premier League title among others.
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